Cocktail Napkins

....or the project that will consume me.

Remember when I posted about this way back when?


Oh, napkin quilt, you will be my downfall! You see, I'm the type of person who, once they get it in their stubborn head that they will do something, does it... at whatever cost. In this case, it would be making napkins for our guests to be used during the cocktail hour (so that I can later sew them into a quilt).

I was originally going to make dinner napkins, but then I found out our venue would be providing cloth napkins with their fee. By that time I had already purchased the fabric, so I decided the next best thing would be to make cocktail napkins to either be used during the cocktail hour or to be handed out with drinks at the bar. The logistics of displaying them and signage for them is still in the works, but I have, at least, started the sewing process.

Without further ado.... the napkin spread:

I chose fabrics with various shades of blues and purples to go with our wedding colors. I am creating several napkins (so that there will be duplicates) from each cut of fabric. I really love the fabrics. I think this is a major factor in why I have decided to continue on with this project. :)

I tried out three different methods of sewing.

Method 1 involved cutting a square of fabric, making bias tape from some left over fabric, and attaching the bias tape to the fabric square with the end result (as shown):

It was rather time consuming to make and sew the bias tape (it would have been simpler if I used a bias tape maker or just bought bias tape ready made). On the other hand, it would have been expensive to purchase enough bias tape for all the napkins, so I moved on to option 2.

Method 2 involved cutting a square of fabric, sewing a 1/4" basting stitch around the edge of the fabric square, and using adhesive tape(stitch witchery also works) to create a final seam for the napkins.

I first sewed a 1/4" basting stitch around the edge of the fabric square so that it would be easier to crease. I seamed one edge at time by first folding the fabric edge at the basting stitch. I then ironed on the stitch witchery above the folded fabric and removed the backing.

Finally, I folded the fabric edge over one last time so that the adhesive tape was sandwiched between the fabric, and then I pressed the fabric to seal the seam. This option was still a little pricey because of the amount of adhesive tape I would have to buy..... so I moved on to option 3.

Method 3 is similar to method 2, but instead of using adhesive tape to seal the seam, I sewed it.

I pre-washed all the fabric and then steamed it before beginning. For each napkin, I cut a 12"x12" square of fabric and trimmed the corners (this prevents the seamed edges from peeking out on the corners when you fold them over).

I used a large stitch width on my sewing machine as a basting stitch. I suppose this step isn't really necessary, but it made it so much easier to make a straight fold along the edges. After I finished sewing a basting stitch with 1/4" allowance, I folded the edges over along the stitch and pressed them so that the folded edge stayed in place.

I folded the pressed edges over a second time, pressed it again, and then pinned it twice on the top of the napkin. This helped to hold the pressed edge in place while I was sewing them.

I found that it was easier to fold, press, and pin the opposite edges first so that I could trim the remaining edges at the corners if necessary to prevent them from peeking out at the sides after I had folded them. When I finished pinning all edges, it was time to sew!

I used a 1/4" seam allowance to sew the edges in place. I used a continuous stitch and pivoted the needle when I reached the corners:

The finished front and back:

What do you think? Should I have place these at the bar to use under cocktails or should I set them out during the cocktail hour to be used with appetizers? And how do I get people to actually use them?

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